Improving access in STEM subjects

Villiers Park Educational Trust

Back to Working with the hard-to-reach

Focusing on the hard-to-reach or under-represented groups

Is there an under-represented group you are trying to reach? Maybe you are interested in all youngsters who have an interest in Science. Or perhaps you wish to focus on girls, or youngsters from certain ethnic groups, or from a geographical area, or from less privileged backgrounds.

By clarifying your target group and creating criteria, you can focus your effort and judge your success.


Click on the hyperlinks for more detail

Your target group
Have you clarified your target group? Is it the same for all your activities?

Criteria for selecting schools, academies or colleges
Are there certain schools, academies or colleges that have a high proportion of your target learners?

Criteria for selecting learners
Have you defined your criteria? Do you give these learners priority? Are you sure you are collecting the information you need?

Judging success
How do you monitor impact? Do you have the data you require? Can you evolve your practice?


What we do at Villiers Park

Our target group are youngsters from less advantaged backgrounds who have the academic potential to make it to a leading university but may not do so without help.

Part of our work, the Villiers Park Scholars Programme, is very tightly targeted.

  • Located in regions with high deprivation and low progression rates to university
  • Focused on the schools and colleges that serve the least advantaged
  • Villiers Park Scholars are put forward by the schools and must:
    • Have high academic potential
    • Fulfill our disadvantage criteria
    • Attend an induction event
    • Have an informal interview with a Villiers Park member of staff, which is also attended by a member of staff from their school
  • As it is a four year programme, they must attain a threshold level in their GCSE examinations to stay on the programme

Not all our work is targeted in this way. Our online extension activities are open access and available to all. We recommend a target audience, but teachers and learners are welcome to use them in any way they choose.

Our five-day residential courses are targeted at a much larger group than the Villiers Park Scholars Programme.

  • Attend a ‘list’ school or college
  • Y12 and Y13
  • Have the potential to achieve an A or A* at A-level (or equivalent)
  • Studying certain subjects, depending on the course
  • Priority is given to students who meet our disadvantage criteria

For five-day residential courses, we aim to have at least 60% of the participants meeting the disadvantage criteria.